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Case Histories: Bringing Jackson Brodie to the screen

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Ashley Pharoah Ashley Pharoah | 10:03 UK time, Friday, 10 June 2011

I had just finished filming Ashes To Ashes when Ruby Films sent me the novel Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, with a view to adapting it as the first two-parter in a new series for BBC One.

To be honest, I was so knackered I didn't really feel like throwing myself into creating another series.

But it's such a brilliant novel and Jackson Brodie, the central protagonist, is such a wonderful, complex, beguiling character that I couldn't say no.

For those of you who haven't read the Jackson Brodie novels (what sort of people are you?), they are unconventional thrillers, existing in an exhilarating hinterland between genre and art. And they are unputdownable.

As a screenwriter you're always looking for challenges, something to pull you out of your comfort zone, and it quickly became clear that I'd taken on a massive job.

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Every other person I mentioned the book to adored it, especially women, and had very strong feelings about who should play Jackson Brodie and what the series should look like.

No pressure, then.

But first I had to meet Kate Atkinson.

I've adapted Tom Brown's Schooldays and Under The Greenwood Tree in the past, but those novelists were safely dead and not waiting for me in their house in Edinburgh.

Nobody was as crass to mention it, of course, but this was sort of an audition for me.

As I knocked on Kate's front door and marshalled my thoughts I realised this is how actors must feel a lot of the time.

Note to self - be nicer to actors.

So Kate and I strolled around Edinburgh in the rain, talking about her characters, where they might live and eat and drink.

Case Histories is actually set in Cambridge but, as we were adapting three of the books and they're each set in a different place, it was clearly going to be necessary for us to decide on one city and try to make it a character in its own right.

I plumped for Edinburgh, not because Kate lived there, but because it has such a wonderful Gothic presence that I felt would fit perfectly with Kate's form of skewed realism.

I loved writing the scripts. The heavy-lifting had already been done by Kate - the characters, the story, the tone - so my job was to smash up the novel and re-imagine it as a screenplay. A fresh mosaic.

I decided to curve one story over two episodes, to give each two-parter a strong structure, and then largely play out separate self-contained stories in each episode.

It meant that the films wouldn't have the relentless, restless narrative that you often get on TV in this genre, but could meander through murder to domesticity, from comedy to tragedy.

Jason Issacs as Jackson Brodie and Marion Bailey as Gloria Hatter in episode four of case histories.

Jason Isaacs as Jackson Brodie and Marion Bailey as Gloria Hatter

The books always struck me for their very grown-up sense of sexuality and disappointed hope.

The structure gave us the chance to do justice to that - to sometimes sit back off the main thrust of the story and explore Jackson's life and past a bit.

It's always a privilege to spend time with other writers' characters and works, living or dead. It's not for the faint-hearted.

I know there are armies of Atkinson fans out there who have their own utterly perfect version of Jackson Brodie in their heads, and who will curse me for fiddling with perfection.

But what joy, to take tea with one of our finest living novelists in a damp cafe in Edinburgh and talk about writing. What could be better? A beer with Thomas Hardy?

Ashley Pharoah is the scriptwriter of episodes one and two of Case Histories.

Case Histories continues on Sunday, 12 June at 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD and at 11.15pm on BBC HD.

For further programme times, please visit the upcoming episodes page.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I loved Jason Isaacs as Jackson Brodie but thought he could have done with a few grey hairs. "My" Jackson is a bit more weather worn! Julia and her sisters were perfectly cast and the programme was REALLY GOOD!! Thank you.

  • Comment number 2.

    What video cameras where used to film this?

    The quality of the cinematography is excellent.


  • Comment number 3.

    Watched case histories so far and found it entertaining the one thing that slghtly irks me is Jacksons daughter Marley who is supposed to be from Edinburgh but has a very strong west of Scotland (Glaswiegan) accent and her speech was very difficult to comprehend especially for us down south this maybe something the continuity department may take in hand if anymore episodes are made.

  • Comment number 4.

    please can you tell me the singer and writer of the song featured at the beginning and end of episode 3 please? (Really enjoying show.)

  • Comment number 5.

    Started watching the series yesterday evening and found the story very difficult to follow due to the poor sound quality. The actors' voices were poorly recorded to the point of frequently being muffled and indistinct. To make matters worse the background music was too dominant.
    I am hard of hearing but my wife, who isn't, experienced the same problem. We found ourselves wishing that sub-titles had been added.
    Apart from this (major) complaint, we are enjoying the show and are intrigued enough by the brilliant storyline to continue watching.

  • Comment number 6.

    Love the books. Have just finished readin 'started early took my dog' which is another master piece from Atkinson. Was dubious about case histories and adaptation for TV but it has worked brilliantly. Excellent all round. Jason Issacs a great Jackson Brodie and filing in Edinbugrh first class. Really good show so far. Thought it might not show last night cause of the silly F1 but thankfully the Beeb had enough sense to move it BBC2. Finally some great TV. More of this BBC please!! Oh and get rid of that dancing rubbish!!

  • Comment number 7.

    The sound quality is lousy not helped by Isaacs mumbling Yorkshire dialect. How anyone in Edinburgh would understand him is the real mystery

  • Comment number 8.

    An excellent show well done the BBC, bringing these brilliant books to life. Jason Isaacs making a great Jackson Brodie so far. More of this please

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Great show with a great cast, pure entertainment and the music is superb the sound track should be released at the end of the series

  • Comment number 11.

    This is wonderfully acted and beautifully shot. Well done. Unfortunately the soundtrack makes this un-watchable.

    It's not only far too loud. It's just wrong. This Pink Panther-esque jazz just detracts from what's happening on screen. It doesn't accompany, support or compliment the drama, it detracts from some fine acting and cinematography.

    Although the composer may have intended to be ironic, the compositions are not. It sounds sarcastic and comedic at times when what's happening on screen isn't. In fact at times the syncopated light jazz sounds as if it's being sarcastic to the viewer for watching! It really makes it incomprehensible.

    Shame you can't re-commission for a more suitable soundtrack.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thank you BBC for commissioning Case Histories, one of the most enjoyable drama's that I have watched in a very long time. It's wonderful to watch a crime drama where you need to engage your brain. I love Jason Issacs as Jackson Brodie and have no trouble understanding his accent and i'm from Edinburgh. Well done to the wee girl who plays Marley, she brings a ray of sunshine to this dark drama. I especially love the quality of the filming and that fact that it shows just how beautiful my hometown is. Such a shame there is only 2 more episodes to go.

  • Comment number 13.

    The last two episodes could have been very good if it were not for such ridiculous story lines. I am sorry, but this could have been an episode of Midsomer Murders it was so silly - the daughter goes missing, mum obviously frantic but when Jackson finds her at his house doesnt even bother to phone mum to let her know daughter is safe-merely chats to daughter then drives her back to her mums and thats the first mum knows about it!! The detectives son, by sheer coincidence, ha ha, just happens to be in the car park to witness the baseball bat attack ?? Complete stranger is asked by the hospital to keep an eye on the victim for the next 24 hours so they go to a hotel together?! Sorry, but where the hell did that stupid idea come from? They didnt even know each other, one was a witness to a crime the other the victim??? When the comedian was found dead at the house the detectives 'assumed' it was the author and even phoned the authors brother to tell him that his brother was dead?? No ID, no etiquette about telling next of kin etc etc. These are just a few of the most silly scenarios that marred what would otherwise be a great series with great characters and acting. More like a comedy show really Shame.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm really disappointed. I think Jason Isaacs is a great actor and the performances are good but there is something unconvincing and artificial about Case Histories. I thought I'd give it another try this week. But it is not great drama; not tight enough and too predicatable to be a proper thriller but not believable enough to be proper character study. And why does hardly anyone have a Scottish accent ? Is that what Edinburgh is like ? The BBC schedule so needs a piece of must watch tv drama but this isn't it.

  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with 13 and 14. I live in Edinburgh and it looks beautiful in this series but I am afraid the storylines are farcical. I'll leave the daughter out of it.

    Case Histories- this weeks episode.

    As far as I can recall the list of characters last night were as follows:

    • Jackson Brodie- The Private Detective
    • Jackson’s Girlfriend
    • A stand up comedian who is friends with Jackson’s GF
    • The woman Police Officer
    • Her Son
    • Russian prostitute 1
    • Her Twin Russian prostitute 2
    • A Russian cleaner.
    • The crime fiction author
    • The property developer
    • The property developers wife (of 39 years)
    • The property developers man Friday.
    • Another policeman called Murdo
    • Jackson Brodies brother
    • Jackson Brodies sister (appearing in flashback)
    • A road rage victim
    • A female doll seller in a Russian hotel

    I make that 17 altogether.

    Jackson Brodie- The Private Detective

    • Discovered two dead bodies in separate incidents when he wasn’t looking for them.
    • Survived 2 attempted murders and on both occasions, even although he was capable, he didn’t bother chasing the attacker.
    • Witnessed two other attempted murders, preventing one but yet again failing to chase the assailant.
    • One of those was in the basement car park at work.
    • Witnessed another murder. There were three witnesses but no one was charged and the case was closed the same day.
    • Witnessed drowned sister being fished out of the water of Leith.
    • Rescued his brother whilst he was hanging himself in the family home.


    Jackson’s Girlfriend

    • Witnessed an attempted murder but didn’t call the police.
    • Shagged her comedian friend.
    • Got dumped

    A stand up comedian who is friends with Jackson’s GF and the author

    • Murdered in a case of mistaken identity, which came about because he borrowed the authors’ chesnut coloured chinos. Even although the murderer had seen the author in real living life just a few days before. (he looked nothing like the comedian.)

    The woman Police Officer

    • Basically failed to believe that anyone was in danger, even after two murders.




    Her Son

    • A schoolboy, who happened to witness the incident in Jackson’s basement, stealing a memory stick into the bargain.
    • Contemplated suicide

    %0

  • Comment number 16.

    Russian prostitute 1

    • Murdererd and floating in the sea at cramond.
    • Jackson swam out fully clothed to her body and waited on shore til the police came but the body just completely disappeared and the police didn’t believe him.

    Her Twin Russian prostitute 2

    • Survived an attempted murder.
    • Was responsible for property developers heart attack
    • Held a knife to Jackson’s throat.

    The crime fiction author

    • Confessed to murdering a hotel operative in Russia, three years previously and getting away with it scot free.
    • Was drugged by the guy whose life he saved.
    • Murdered the property developers’ man Friday.


    The property developer

    • Had a massive heart attack
    • Murdered in his hotel bed.

    The property developers wife

    • Employed a hit man to kill her husband.
    • Ran away with all the money and with the prostitute and all when the police were about to arrest her.
    • Witnessed a murder
    • Witnessed an attempted murder.

    The property developers man Friday.

    • Murdered comedian
    • Murdered prostitute
    • Attempted Jackson (twice)
    • Attempted prostitute 2
    • Murdered Russian cleaner
    • Attempted on road rage victim
    • Had part of his nose bitten off.

    Another policeman called Murdo

    • Was somehow involved with the property developer and obviously being developed for murders next episode.

    Jackson Brodies brother

    • Tried to hang himself and now a vegetable in an institution

    Jackson Brodies sister (appearing in flashback)

    • Drowned

    A road rage victim

    • Survived attempted
    • Murdered the property developer as he was an assassin.

    A female doll seller in a Russian hotel

    • Murdered by author.

    Not one single person was arrested or charged with any of the above crimes.

  • Comment number 17.

    Completely agree with StevieMac in 15 above. I enjoyed the lush cinematography, and Edinburgh, though always appealing, has never looked lovelier BUT...
    this was possibly the most preposterous storyline ever. I commented afterwards that this was a story involving a mere 8 or so characters, all intermingled. If you leave out the doll-seller, Jackson's actress girlfriend etc I'm not far off.
    Undeterred I will watch the next episode. It can only be more plausible, surely...

  • Comment number 18.

    I was very excited to see the BBC were doing this, as I love Kate Atkinson but what a disappointment! Jason Isaacs is great but important pieces of the storylines have been missed out, changed or simply not made clear as is noted on the PoV thread where people keep asking "what does that mean" or "what happened there"?

    A really good chance - blown.

  • Comment number 19.

    It was great to see my home city again. I have parked in thar car park many a time!

    The plot was a bit slow and convoluted.

    Why use a girl with Glasgow accent for someone who is supposed to be an Edinburgh girl?

    The sound was not good or was it Jackson. As my Wife said, Jackson needs to open his mouth wider.

  • Comment number 20.

    It always annoys me when the continuity of a programme isn't there....... Brodie's neck was red raw post strangulation attempt in prog 4 and a couple of scenes later (read hours) there are no signs of anything on his neck. Is this not just a lack of production professionalism?

  • Comment number 21.

    Well I think its wonderful. Those who complain about the far fetched nature of the plotting need to read the novels to understand that this is all part of the fun. In fairness perhaps that isn't evident from the TV series alone.
    I too have complaint about the soundtrack. It is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant and uncredited, for gods sake give us the track list. One of your comenters can't tell country from jazz, dear dear. I spotted Nanci Griffith, Speed of the Sound of Loneliness and Iris Dement, I'll take my sorrows straight, but there is so much more great music on there we need to be able to get it. I suspect the others are also perfect counterpoints to the action.
    Well done everyone on some real quality drama.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi everyone and thank you for your thoughtful comments. I only actually adapted the first novel - which was the opening two-parter - so will restrict myself to chatting about that. Kate Atkinson's plots in the books are things of beauty but they exist in a sort of heightened, ironic place where huge coincidences can happen and feel completely right and satisfying. Like Dickens. But our television drama has largely come out of a more realistic tradition, so I can see why some people are struggling with aspects of the adaptations. I think we attempted to achieve a sort of dreamy, shifting fictional world that would be close to the spirit of Kate's books. Not for everyone, obviously!

    I loved the fact that Jackson Brodie likes female country music singers as I'm a little partial myself. The tracks that I included in my scripts were Nanci Griffith's lovely version of John Prine's "Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness"; Lucinda Williams' "Sweet Old World"; Mary Gauthier's "Soft Place To Land". Kate Atkinson actually burnt a CD for me of the tracks she thought Jackson would listen to and I played it every morning before I started writing - much to the annoyance of my wife and my cat, who both threatened to leave home.

    Thank you all so much for taking the time and effort to leave your comments.

    Ashley

  • Comment number 24.

    I loved it Jason Isaacs was brilliant but then again, he is good in everything.. and Edinburgh looked fantastic, it was so cool to see shots of Portobello and the Grassmarket and a couple of scottish actors ...please please BBC do some more.. ps I had no problem with the sound but then again I am Scottish..

  • Comment number 25.

    This is a great little series, interesting, filled with intrigue, humour and well developed 'real' characters! I was wondering if anyone knew what the music was in the 3rd or 4th show. Jackson is jogging down by the beach when he spots a body floating. The music he is listening to on the headphones is a female singer, sort of country/folk bluesy mix. Loved it.

  • Comment number 26.

    I haven't read Case Histories so came to the programme with no expectation other than that of looking forward to watching a drama set in Edinburgh. It was bizarre - the city was used well as a back drop, but had no connection to the story - could count the scottish accents on fingers of one hand. It all felt a bit confusing and out of place. No more please!

  • Comment number 27.

    I couldn't hear a lot of the dialogue in the second story - partly due to the actors not speaking clearly and partly the background music. I had the same, but worse problem with Zen. He mumbled terribly. I know you get many complaints about this. Please accept that people's hearing gets worse as they age. Lower the volume of the music and make the diction a little less realistic. I don't have a problem with Midsommer Murders, nor even Taggart. They may have Scottish accents, but they speak clearly.

  • Comment number 28.

    Absolutely love this series and Jason Isaacs is great in this role. I hope to see many more!

  • Comment number 29.

    4. and 25. The track you like is "When you Walk On" written and sung by Eliza Gilkyson on her album Paradise Hotel

  • Comment number 30.

    4. and 25. The track you like is "When You Walk On" written and sung by Eliza Gilkyson on her album Paradise Hotel

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Jonathan Bagley (#27) and pokerback (#5),

    BBC One controller Danny Cohen has written on this blog about research into audience complaints that background music sometimes seems to drown out dialogue. It might answer some of your points - see Is the background music too loud?.

    Thanks,

    Gary
    Assistant Content Producer, BBC TV blog

  • Comment number 32.

    As a Belgian BBC fan I watch most series and documentaries with the subtitles activated through the 'Text' function. So no problems for me with understanding the dialogues... A hint maybe for all English and Scottish people having trouble with appreciating Jason Isaacs' natural way of acting. Great series, great interpretation of Kate Atkinson's novels. Thank heaven there's BBC drama!

  • Comment number 33.

    I loved all of Kate Atkinsons's novels and think that this series is as good as it gets in terms of interpretation of them. For those who complain about the unbelievable storylines, you really need to read the books to understand why it all makes sense. Jason Isaacs makes a fantastic Brodie.

    I loved seeing my home town of Edinburgh so beautifully protrayed but Brodie certainly goes on some interesting runs - down King's Stables Road and popping out on the sea front at Crammond 2 minutes later being just one of them.

    If there is one complaint, it's some of the accents. Brodie's daughter Marley could not be more Glaswegian and there are some other very dodgy Scottish accents going on. Still, all in all, good to see the BBC seeing doing a decent drama for a change and can't wait for Sunday night.

  • Comment number 34.

    EMF's; Unbelievable, may have been the most appropriate choice for background music.
    I have not read books andunfortunaely the TV series deters rather than encourages. I will watch again this weekend mainly to see if new pinnacles of ridiculousness are attained. Why oh why do skint Private Detectives always refuse to take payment? Jackson's not made a bean so far.

  • Comment number 35.

    I cannot believe that I have not noticed Jason Issacs before, what a superb actor and this series of case histories is brilliant. Its complex and compelling, I am loving every minute of it. Please lets see more of Mr Issacs and this fantastic programme

  • Comment number 36.

    Jason Issac is superb in this complex and compelling thriller, well done and lets have much more please!

  • Comment number 37.

    Really enjoying this series. Hadn't heard of the books before this, but they are on my 'to read list' now.
    More information on the soundtracks would be appreciated.

  • Comment number 38.

    I would watch anything that Jason Isaacs is in, where have you been, Ms Bradley? I can remember a sharp intake of breath the first time Lucius Malfoy appeared in the HP films, and his Mr Darling/Captain Hook in the Peter Pan film was great fun. His portrayal of Harry H. Corbett was less easy viewing, but still very well acted, I thought.
    And I love Kate Atkinson's books, I think there are quite enough ordinary logical detectives about, so Jackson Brodie & Luther suit me fine!

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm thinking that lizturner is meaning either Gillian Welch or Lucinda Williams for the music for episode 3. Is it possible to get a CD of the music from the whole series?

  • Comment number 40.

    How wonderful to have a 'crime' series where there isn't a scene where our 'hero' eg Frost, Scott and Bailey etc don't utter, "I want them locked up," or something similar. The books are about character and helping victims come to terms with the crime. Police have to solve crimes, but private detectives, like Jackson, produce solutions for people which go much deeper than whodunit.

  • Comment number 41.

    I have been watching Case Histories since it started and it's a shame tonight is the last in the current series. Now this may seem an odd thing to post but can anyone help me identify the make of the jacket Jackson wears in each episode and where I can get one (the brown barbour style jacket) it's a very nice jacket and I would like to try and get one if I can.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm really enjoying this drama,
    Does anyone know who the soundtrack is he's always listening to....??

  • Comment number 43.

    I think this is simply a great series. With a recent lack of decent dramas including the wilting Doctor Who! the BBC has pulled one out of the bag with this production. There is just something about Case Histories that sucks you in and before you know it the hour is up. I do hope there is to be a second series?

    With Sherlock, Case Histories and Luther the BBC is once again raising the bar. All we need now is a new Jonathan Creek!

  • Comment number 44.

    P.S. I have had no problems what so ever with the volume of music so please do not change as it adds to the production quality.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 45.

    What a great series pity there are only a few episodes this kind of drama is what the BBC is all about. Jason Isaacs is superb more like this please

  • Comment number 46.

    Superb series,really enjoyed every episode

  • Comment number 47.

    I think this is such an excellent series and I'm also loving the music! Where can I find a list of the recording artists? Thanks

  • Comment number 48.

    Is the BBC talent pool of children so sparse that they have got to recycle them from other dramas surely there must have been some other more talented kids who could have played the part of Marlee spent most of our time tryin to remember where we had heard her gruff accent before it was single father with David Tennant cmon BBC continuity

  • Comment number 49.

    This is driving me nuts! I can't for the life of me remember where I've seen the hospital doctor (dating police lady) before - who on earth is he?

  • Comment number 50.

    What a fantastic series Case Histories has been. I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and hope that more will be commissioned soon, well done.

  • Comment number 51.

    Just watched episode 6. The music is brilliant. Please could we be told where it's from. Any chance of a CD with the songs on?

  • Comment number 52.

    For many years I have not watched BBC or UK drama as its third rate compared to the excellent US shows Wire, Breaking Bad, Rescue Me, Mad Men, Treme, Game of Thrones, Deadwood, BSG, Fringe etc etc. Now BBC air the excellent; Shadowline, Luther and Case Histories, which I have greatly enjoyed despite the nitpickers, this is adult drama and not the usual safe, cliche ridden thats been offered. Great acting photography and scripts (not read the novels). Despite being relocated to Edinburgh the lack of Scots voices is poor casting. More please.

  • Comment number 53.

    Loved the series and of course Jason Issacs. Please could you tell me who the country and western singer was that sang on the programme.

  • Comment number 54.

    I absolutely loved Case histories.It's one of the best programme's I've seen in a long time.Please say that you are going to make another series.Too often something great comes along never to be seen again.I will keep my fingers crossed that it will return.

  • Comment number 55.

    Help! Can someone please help me - right at the end of tonight, Brodie says to Joanna 'He took your baby!'. Sorry - haven't read the book and I can't for the life of me work out what this means. Please put me out of my misery! Thanks

  • Comment number 56.

    does anyone know the singer/album of the song, seems like to me,sung half way through tonites last episode of case histories..her voice was stunning,almost another eva cassidy..?? thanks

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi octoberrr. After Joanna explains why she went to the prison, Jackson says "You took your baby?" and not "He took your baby"

  • Comment number 58.

    How very disappointing to see the negative comments here. I just loved these three double episodes. Music brilliant, and in no way interfered with the storyline or mood - for me it was an enhancement. Hard to hear dialogue? Well I had no problems whatsoever. Turn your telly up, folks! Ah, you didn't like the music? Well what a shame for you! Brilliant characterisation, and an excellent role for the talented Jason Isaacs. I surely hope more is planned - I was really disappointed to discover tonight's was the last episode. Now to go and read some of those novels by Kate Atkinson...

  • Comment number 59.

    Gareth - I think this version is by Kris Delmhurst. I checked this out on YouTube and the version there sounded very similar.

  • Comment number 60.

    I think one of the songs used quite a bit in the last two episodes was "mercy now" by Mary Gauthier.

  • Comment number 61.

    I agree with you maranjo,I thoroughly enjoyed it.I can't understand why people are being so negative!Loved the bits of 'tongue in cheek' moments.Thought it was very refreshing.Also loved the music,wasn't theme song Johnny Cash?Loved Jason Isaacs as Jackson Brody too.

  • Comment number 62.

    I watched this on my laptop & had no difficulty in hearing or understanding the dialogue. I loved Marley too - what a cutie-pie! Really loved the entire series & all the actors, great casting! I haven't read any of Kate Atkinson's books yet, but they are on my 'to do' list. I will certainly make a point of doing so now. Well done to everyone concerned.

  • Comment number 63.

    I just wanted to say well done to all the actors, writers, directors, composers etc who had a hand in making this fantastic series. It's been an absolute pleasure to watch and i've found myself looking forward to each episode from week one. I didn't actually have any problems hearing the dialogue over the background score and understood some of the rather 'far fetched' coincidences to be a staple part of crime fiction (maybe people who didn't quite get this don't read any crime fiction?). I haven't actually read the Kate Atkinson books as yet (shame on me!) however they are now sat high on my list of 'books I need to read'. One of the things I really loved about this show was the atmosphere the creators managed to capture. It really gave me that sense of a 'quirky mystery crime novel' which I should imagine is really difficult to capture on screen, so well done on that part, I think you nailed it. Jason Isaacs really kept me gripped through the series (fantastically cast), little Marley was just a joy to watch and Edinburgh provided a beautiful location (i'm planning a trip there already!!). Well done beeb for backing such an outstanding series. x

  • Comment number 64.

    Thank you teltest! I woke up thinking about it this morning, and now it makes sense - I watch with subtitles because I have a hearing problem and the subs clearly say 'He took your baby'. So that's interesting - I would have thought the people doing the subs would use a script, but perhaps they don't have the written word to assist them. Certainly stuffed the end of the plot for me, so thank you very much. Interestingly, at the end, when Brodie goes to Louise's and she invites him in the subs show 'have we got time' and I'm sure he says something more like 'when we've got time'. Bit pedantic, but it does alter the situation somewhat. But the first one was really confusing, so thanks!

  • Comment number 65.

    This was Completely Excellent - waiting for next series.

  • Comment number 66.

    I've long been a HUGE fan of Kate Atkinson's books and I love Jackson Brodie, so I was a bit sceptical, but I loved this from start to finish.

    Yes, there were some dodgy accents, yes there were bits of the books 'missing' and some elements changed or smoothed out, and yes if I hadn't read the books I might have been a bit confused, but I thought it was fabulous and I'm gutted that it's finished. I just don't get why so many people complained about the 'ridiculous' plots - have they never heard of wit and irony?

    What's not to like! I just wish each book had been four rather than two episodes. And like lots of other people I'd like a play list. And I hope they're going to do the next book soon.

  • Comment number 67.

    I have read all of Kate Atkinson's novels so far and loved them all. They are far fetched however that's half the fun! I really enjoyed the BBC's dramatisation and look forward to more.

  • Comment number 68.

    My wife and I absolutely LOVED this series. We were unfamiliar with the novels but were so enchanted with the series that I've snarfed up the books as well and look forward to reading them soon. I thought the synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) that flows throughout the plots were delightful . . . honestly, we felt that the first story felt very much like an homage to the coincidences within the Dirk Gently novels but for grownups in a more realistic world (even the cat ladies felt at home). We had no problem with the sound and loved the storytelling. The acting was absolutely first rate. The one weakness to the series? IT ENDED TOO SOON! Oh why couldn't they have done the fourth book as well!

  • Comment number 69.

    I loved Jason Isaacs as Jackson Brodie. When I read the books I imagined someone like Ken Stott as Jackson and Sharon Small acting as Louise Monro. But I loved this series just as it was.

  • Comment number 70.

    May I speak for the thousends who do not send in their comments, great, make more...

  • Comment number 71.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this series although the plots are rather unbelievable and even though it would not happen in true life, most of the baddies got their com-uppance. I thought the acting was absolutely brilliant, especially Jason Isaacs. My only complaint was I had difficulty in hearing the dialogue, Jackson Brodie has a gruff Yorkshire accent, I am a Yorkshire girl but could not make out everthing he said, and also I couldn't catch all the Scottish dialogue. In spite of this I look forward to the next series - dont keep us waiting too long.

  • Comment number 72.

    Implausible? Of course, but then most TV dramas are. What really matters is whether people enjoyed the twists and turns. I certainly did and I'd like to see more.

  • Comment number 73.

    Hi mandj (#51), gareth (#56), stonesoupstudio (#25) and everybody else who has asked about the music played in Case Histories.

    There's a tracklisting for each episode available on the individual Case Histories episode page, via the links below:

    Episode 1
    Episode 2
    Episode 3
    Episode 4
    Episode 5
    Episode 6

    Thanks,

    Gary
    Assistant Content Producer, BBC TV blog

  • Comment number 74.


    Once again the key bits of speech were masked by the sound guys. Shame that it is going to take so long for the BBC to bring these recommendations into effect.
    31. At 16:16 17th Jun 2011, Gary Andrews wrote:

    Hi Jonathan Bagley (#27) and pokerback (#5),

    BBC One controller Danny Cohen has written on this blog about research into audience complaints that background music sometimes seems to drown out dialogue. It might answer some of your points - see Is the background music too loud?.

    Thanks,

    Gary
    Assistant Content Producer, BBC TV blog

  • Comment number 75.

    I loved this series! I hadn't come across Kate Atkinson's books before, but they are definitely on my reading list now. I was gripped by the stories and found them a bit different from the usual detective series - I thought this was on a par with the fabulous Sherlock series last year. Jason Isaacs was perfect in this role and the whole cast did a brilliant job. Please please say there will be a second series!

  • Comment number 76.

    Well me and my wife are captivated. It's compulsive viewing and real British entertainment and if there's not a new series in the offing there will be bloody murder! Thanks for the addiction, yet again, Ashley.

  • Comment number 77.

    Reading the comments on incidental music, the best dramas are made by the French who never use incidental or background music as the screenplay says it all.
    You writers and directors should work on the strength of your material not needing amplification by extraneous noises unless you propose to produce something akin to the silent movies with piano rolls and placards.

  • Comment number 78.

    Comment 41 made by Grahame refers to a Brown jacket, which is made by Barbour and the name of the jacket is called trooper - hope this helps and great show.

  • Comment number 79.

    With reference to comment 48.
    I am not sure what you mean by continuity. Could it be, perhaps, that the BBC thought the little girl who played Marlee was a talented young Scottish actress who could do the part of Jackson's daughter justice. Surely being in another BBC production does not mean she should be excluded from anything else?
    I for one thought her performance was wonderful and convincing, especially in the scene where she ran away because she didn't want to go to New Zealand.
    As for your description of her accent being "gruff", she is from Glasgow!
    Where are you from "Jock"?

  • Comment number 80.

    I recorded the Case Histories series and I've just watched them all over two days. I throughly enjoyed them and was gutted when the series ended.
    I thought the cast were amazing and it was set in a beautiful part of the country.
    Is there going to be another series? Pleeeasssee let there be another series......

  • Comment number 81.

    In reply to Tellybuff I am Glaswegian born and bred only moving south while serving in the military and was merely pointing out that a middle class Edinburgh accent is completely different to a Glasgow /west coast accent I am not saying that the child was a bad actress merely that her accent was more suited to Peter Mullans NEDS movie not the girls fault so you may dismount your high horse. I was merely making a point about continuity after all you would not play Queen Victoria with a Bolton accent Ihope this ticks all the boxes for you

  • Comment number 82.

    I've just watched all six episodes of Case Histories in three two hour sittings on iPlayer. It was brilliant. I read the books a few years ago and thought the stories were great. Detective fiction with a twist.
    I think Ashley has done a fantastic job bringing the books to the screen. I was concerned (as any reader will tell you) that the translation of characters to screen images would ruin the stories. Not so.
    Much has been written about the music that accompanied the series, I think they are missing the point. The music is merely a vehicle to carry the plot forward without the need of images and dialogue.
    As an ardent Mayo and Kermode fan (5 Live film reviews on Friday afternoons) it would seem rude not to say: "Hello to Jason Issacs"

  • Comment number 83.

    I have really enjoyed the series, and did not want it to end......please make another series!!!

  • Comment number 84.

    I am of the opinion that accents up and down the UK add interest to dramas. Some of the pathetic comments about accents on here show that the BBC and other broadcasters need to have more UK accents on TV. Then the southern masses can get used to voices more than forty miles away from London.

  • Comment number 85.

    Re Liz Tunmer - music at the start of episode 3
    I think you mean 'When You Walk On' by Eliza Gilkyson
    "There's a long and winding river...." That was the song AFTER the credits. The song before was 'Paper Wings' by Gillian Welch.
    The series also used another of Eliza Gilkyson's songs, 'Calm Before The Storm'.
    I've been staggered to read complaints about the music elsewhere, I think it was brilliant and absolutely right for that character in that place.
    Enjoyed the series enormously, just off to Amazon to buy the books!

  • Comment number 86.

    Why has the series been pulled from iPlayer this evening? I was half way through story 2 having started watching part 1 at 2130 when all six episodes were present, but at 2230, they were no longer available!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    Great series with great actors, Jason Isaacs was terrific as was the 'wee Glasgow lassie' playing his daughter. Does it really matter that she lives in Edinburgh (now New Zealand) and has a Glasgow accent - just enjoy the programme. The photography does the Scottish tourism trade no harm either.
    By the way though I live south of the border these days I was brought up in Clydebank not far from Glasgow on the West and love Edinburgh on the East side (though my daughter declares Glasgow has the best shops anywhere (but let's not start another debate).

    At the end of the day it is a great show and I for one hope there will be more to come.
    Banky

  • Comment number 88.

    Awesome. Just bought and watched the double DVD from start to finish. Of course the story lines are stretched - it’s a story not the News. The characters are well developed and very well acted, the scenery beautifully varied and chosen.
    Please, please make another series. Thank you for entertaining me.

  • Comment number 89.

    Having read the books I really loved this series and thought that Jason Isaacs was superb and made the whole series very enjoyable.

  • Comment number 90.

    Just started watching the first episode last evening. Brilliant start - so much going on. Nanci Griffith seemed to be featured as most of the music in this one, which was good - I agree that I could not catch all the dialogue in places.

    Ian King

  • Comment number 91.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the books, and found this series a brilliant rendition of what was going on in my head when I read them! Great work.

  • Comment number 92.

    A question for / favour from Ashley Pharaoh please. I also LOVE the music - would it be allowable to give the listing of the Jackson CD that Kate Atkinson gave to you? To start with I found the music a little incongruous with JB's sharp appearance and character but soon realised that it hinted at his brooding depths. Many thanks

  • Comment number 93.

    Again, thank you for all your comments. I haven't heard if the BBC want to do more or not.

    Flyingkitten, I had a look in the chaos of my study drawer and found Kate's CD. She has called it "Jackson" and these are the tracks she sent me:

    Mercy Now - Mary Gauthier
    Jesus, Take The Wheel - Carrie Underwood
    Be Careful - Patty Griffin
    Laid A Highway - Tift Merritt
    Leaving This Life - Lori McKenna
    Sunday Morning Coming Down - Gretchen Wilson
    Drowning In You - Gretchen Peters
    Not Long For This World - Kelly Willis
    Cowboy Boots - Kendel Carson
    Your Sister Cried - Mary Gauthier

 

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